To collect high-quality QCM-D data, it is important to pay careful attention to the entire process of measurement preparation, setup, and execution.
To learn more about the best practice procedures, I interviewed my colleague, Jennie Ringberg, Technical product manager for QSense. Jennie described the five steps of QCM-D measurement preparation and execution. In this post I share what I learned about step 4 – Running the experiment.
QCM-D Measurement setup and execution in five steps
To get the most out of your QCM-D your measurement in terms of data quality and reproducibility, there are several aspects to pay attention to. The measurement setup and execution could be divided into five steps:
A successful measurement starts already before the measurement execution by careful planning of the experiment in advance, Jennie says. The steps that you plan to include in your measurement should be designed in a clever way. For example, you should have considered potential bulk effects and how to minimize or avoid those, she says.
Make the most of the time invested setting up the experiment
It is also good to consider how to make the most of the experiment that you will spend time setting up, Jennie continues. For example, perhaps it will be possible to use the mounted sensor for multiple purposes, i.e., in different kinds of analysis. Let us say for example that you are working in the detergent industry. Then maybe you start by analyzing the soil removal from the sensor, and then as the stain has been removed, you continue to study etching of the same sensor.
Make sure the captured data fulfils the requirements of the planned analysis method
Another important aspect to consider when you are planning the experiment is to always ask yourself beforehand what kind of information that you plan to extract from the measured data, Jennie says. How do you plan to do the analysis? And what requirements will the data need to fulfil for that kind of analysis to be performed? For example, is the baseline stable so that you can draw conclusions on the shifts? Or if you plan to do viscoelastic modelling, are you including all the different harmonics? These aspects need to be considered and planned for beforehand, and not once the measurement has already been terminated, Jennie stresses.
Take notes during measurement execution
During the measurement, I would really recommend taking notes in the software, Jennie says. There is a feature in the software that creates a timestamp which is useful to keep track of when different samples were inserted etc. The timestamp is of course useful in general to keep track of your measurement protocols, but it is especially useful if you plan to use Dfind to analyze your data afterwards. Dfind can import the time stamps automatically and split the measurement into the different periods of the sample sequence which facilities the data analysis. So, use the timestamp button in the software and then manually add some notes on what happened at this point in time, for example “injection of Sample A”, Jennie says.
Tips and tricks on how to collect quality data with QCM-D
If you want to learn more about QCM-D measurement best practice, listen to the interview with Jennie as she shares some tips and tricks in the pod episode Collecting quality data with QCM-D – what to consider and pitfalls to avoid.
Learn about what aspects to consider when running your QCM measurement
Malin graduated in engineering physics in 2006, where her research focused on the QCM-D technology. Since then, she has been scrutinizing the how’s and why’s of the world in general, and the world of QCM-D in particular.